Fishing For Compliments


ff_kendall_icon.gif ff_robyn2_icon.gif

Scene Title Fishing for Compliments
Synopsis Robyn is back in the Pelago and went to climb and sing, only to find her friend Kendall fishing.
Date May 3, 2020

The Pelago

One of the more derelict buildings of the Pelago.

Life in the Pelago has always been in disarray since the Flood first happened, even more so in recent years with the Vanguard attack. And yet… life still goes on. For those who have made it so far, a routine is even able to be established, barring any other disaster striking.

For Kendall, that usually involves making sure he's able to get any amenity he needs, which means barter. The one thing he found out he's great at is fishing, and people are always willing to trade for food. As a result, a good portion of his day not running and hiding sees him perched on a ledge next to an opened window on the exterior of a building, constantly alert for anyone approaching. It's one of several spots he's known to go by those who know him, and if a boat does happen to go by, a vanishing trick is simple enough.

Today is no different, and it's early morning, the best time for fish. A bucket next to him holds whatever he managed to get for the day, though he still looks sleepy, stifling a yawn as he watches the fake lure he conjured up in the water a dozen feet below.

Hearing random sounds among the Pelago was far from unusual; with the state of the buildings still standing among the waters. Lonesome creaks and moans of empty homes and buildings, playing wistful songs against the windblown buildings like falling rain are common and easy to be ignored.

A thump like the one Kendall hears above him, though, rings a bit clearer and a bit heavier than these mournful choruses would normally.

The sudden cry of a woman makes it clear that this isn't just the shifting of a slowly decaying building, but before Kendall can react, a form slips partially out of a window above him, a woman who grabs another window frame to steady herself

A surprisingly familiar woman. Robyn Roux's eyes are wide for a moment, looking briefly terrified before bursting into laughter, though she doesn't seem to notice Kendall there, previously undisturbed in his fishing.

Sounds coming above Kendall scares the shit out of him. Especially since it's a 'secret spot' that only the people who DO know him know about. The fishing pole clatters out of his hand and vanishes, and he almost goes off the ledge himself when someone appears out of the window. When he sees who it is, though, he's struck dumb with shock.

Then, bucket forgotten completely, he clambers over and throws his arms around her. "I thought you were dead!" Oh, should probably not do this on the outside of a building when one or both might lose their balance like she almost did. Leaning towards her in the window, he's apparently trying to crush the life out of her.

The laughter stops abruptly, Robyn's eyes again wide as she looks around like she's about to panic, initially pushing back against Kendall. It's only when the voice clicks that she opens one eye, grimacing at first. The sight of Kendall's face gets her to light up, transitioning from fighting him to wrapping her arms around him and returning his hug tightly. No mind seems to be paid to just how precious their perch is, leaning back and smiling a bit weakly at him.

"Ta-da!" she exclaims with a nervous undercurrent. Her arms are thrown out to each side as though it were an intentional display of showmanship. It makes her balance a bit more precarious, but she doesn't slip; like ever she seems a bit more adept at staying upright when she's focusing on it.

"Why're you here!" It's less a question than the word choice would indicate, head tilting slightly as she stares at Kendall. It seems meeting him here was definitely not intentional.

Kendall releases her, then sits down on the window ledge to make it easier to avoid an impromptu bath. “Why am I here? Uh..” he points over towards the bucket, abandoned on the ledge. “Breakfast, lunch, dinner, I guess? Or at least, getting something other than fish with it. Am I not supposed to be here? But nevermind that, where have you been? It’s been ages!” he pats the spot next to him, glancing down below as if gauging the distance in case she did fall.

“Not that I’ve caught anything yet.” bucket o’ fish, sadly empty. “So what am I doing here, what are you doing here? Aside from falling out of windows.” he smirks over at her. “They haven’t caught me yet, and it looks like they didn’t catch you either. Another day. God, I missed you, Roux!” he thinks for a minute. “«Beautiful siren of the seas, life without you was filled with darkness!»” he looks at her hopefully after his mostly decent (but terribly accented) French. He did remember her lessons, but perhaps not used it in a while. He tried.

Roux lets out an excited squeak when Kendall speaks French to her, embracing him again. It may not be perfect but she understands him perfectly enough. "«You remembered!» Simple French, mostly to hide the blush on her face as she leans forward and places a peck on Kendall's cheek.

"I came here to sing." Her voice is lower, immediately sadder as she says those words. Looking a bit off to the side, her shoulders slouch a bit as she turns and looks back out at the water. A hand reaches up and scratches at the back of her head. "I don't wanna talk about it," she mumbles. Instead, she lowers herself to sit cross legged in the window frame. "Sorry I scared you, though. I just wanted to…"

Well, he knows. Climb and sing.

“Well I was hoping to see you again, and it seemed like a good way to send you good vibes from afar. Always in my thoughts!” Practicing a different language naturally involves thinking of the instructor, after all. When she suddenly looks sad, he shakes his head, looking out over the water as well. “Eh, doesn’t matter. You’re here, and that means life can be fun again.” he grins mischievously at her as he dismisses the previous subject with a wave of his hand, waggling his brows. “Hasn’t been the same, getting into trouble all by myself.”

As she announces she came to sing, Kendall nods as if it makes perfect sense. “I’ve missed that, too. And no worries, I’m just glad it’s you and not…” he shrugs away worse things, not wanting to bring it up. After that, he falls silent since she came here to sing. He looks over to the bucket and makes a throwing motion, and a ‘lasso’ wraps around the bucket that he uses to carefully pull it closer. “You sing, I fish.”

"I've gone pro, I can make a mess like nobody's business!" Roux taps the side of her nose, looking rather proud of herself. It's short lived though. "I'm glad you're here though," she says a bit more quietly. "Not a lotta people I know out here anymore. "Not since everything that happened while I was gone."

The Sentinel, she means.

Reaching over, she places a hand on his shoulder. The smile she musters is distant but genuine, before moving to lean against the wall behind him.

"Atop the crags and cliffs, the air is thin
So we'll find a mountain path on down the hill"

It's a sad sounding song that Roux sings, but they often are these days. Her eyes drift downwards, offering a smile down to Kendall as she alternates between watching the sea and watching him prepare him prepare his line. It's been a while since she got to climb somewhere and sing, much less with Kendall fishing at her side.

"Meet me where the snow mount flows
It is there, my dear, where we will begin again."

It takes a moment, but a smile does seem to form on her face that's more hearty than hte ones that preceded it. Wherever she's been, it doesn't seem like she got to do anything like this terribly much, from an yearning Kendall can find on the edge of her words.

"Skipping stones, braiding hair
Last year's antlers mark the trail.

She'll find a very willing audience in Kendall as he brings out the fishing pole from the aether again. The line drops into the water on its own, then he leans into the hand on his shoulder with a relaxed smile as he listens to her sing over the water, just like old times.

"Take us back, oh, take us back
Oh, take us, take us back

Even when a fish bites, he keeps it quiet with a minimum of fuss, the 'bait' he's using catching it and killing it in one blow before being brought back up. None of the fish are particularly big, but big enough for a meal. He's paying more attention to her than to them, anyway, but each one is dropped in the bucket.

"I've a friend who lives out by the rivers mouth
He knows the fiddles cry is an old sound"

He waits for her song to finish before he'll say anything, not wanting to interrupt. This is why she came here, after all.

"Of lonesome creaks and moans of empty houses
Are songs of like fallen rain
Windblown buildings, muddy ground
The strength of water can sink a man"

As she sings those last words, her voice abruptly trails off. Gaze distant, she looks off into the open water, one hand clasping into a fist until her knuckles crack audibly. Something about the lyrics strikes a cord with her.

Just as abruptly, she slides down against the wall down so she sits cross legged and stares out at the water. "Never mind," she murmurs. "I don't feel like singing anymore." She doesn't dwell on that, though, instead looking over to Kendall.

"What've you been doing while I was gone?"

When she finishes singing, he expels a breath, closing his eyes. He opens them again, however, when she says she isn't feeling it anymore, and he looks at her with concern. Feeling it's best not to ask why, he shrugs one shoulder. "Oh, nothing much. Decided to start snooping around in a few new buildings."

Kendall gestures vaguely in the distance. "I can hold my fake boat long enough to get to one of those now." Still in the Pelago, but at least it's a new place. He feels another tug at that moment, and then an evil grin creeps across his face. He pulls it up and tosses the (still alive) fish at her. It's much smaller, not really worth keeping, but it should hopefully provide a distraction and maybe cheer her up.

"Enough frowns, you'll ruin your beautiful face. With wrinkles." he teases.

If the goal was to be quiet, Roux just failed the mission. The scream she lets out as the fish comes flying at her is shrill and pierce, echoing much further than that of the song she had been singing previously. As it flops helplessly on the ground in front of her, she stares at it for a long moment, before finally looking up at Kendall.

He can see tears forming in her eyes, likely from the shock and surprise of it.

"Why are you like this!" is a rhetorical question, even as she scoots further away from the fish and the water. Her pout grows, pulling her knees up up and half burying her face into them. Her eyes never leave Kendall, though. He knows she doesn't mean what he said, it's was once a constant verse between them. Now, though, there's something more genuine in her voice.

Mischief failed, hard. When it makes her scream and cry instead of laugh, his expression quickly shifts to one of confused horror that he upset her. He flicks the fish back into the water, looking perplexed. “It.. it was a joke…” he looks about uneasily, then scoots over to try and give her a hug. “I’m sorry, I didn’t…” it’s different from normal, and suddenly he doesn’t know what to do!

“Are… you ok?” Kendall asks anxiously. Sure, there’s usually banter, but she usually doesn’t cry over it. “Um, was it the fish, or…” he pauses. “Guess you weren’t up to some fischief, huh?” come on, hopefully a bad pun would help right?

The crying quickly gives away to sniffling, Robyn rubbing at her cheek as she stares at the floor. "That was dumb," she states as she wipes away some tears. "But I like it." There's a moment of silence before she shakes her head.

"I'm sorry, Kendall. It's been a bad couple 'a years," she admits quietly, before leaning over to hug him. "I'm sorry," she repeats. Shifting back to pull her legs close again, she buries her face back against her knees. "I was funny," she admits. Maybe she just wasn't ready for it. The smile she offers is a bit strained, but like before, genuine.

“Nah, I didn’t think first, is all. You went through some shit, huh. But you’re back and everything’s ok. Whatever happened can stay right where it is. Oh yeah!” Kendall abruptly digs around in his pocket and holds something in both of his hands, hidden from sight. “Found something you might like. At least, I think it is. Was digging through some stuff.” he then twists his hands about, holding them palm up and showing… a kazoo. “It’s an instrument you can still play!” dumb, yes, but hopefully at least a little thoughtful. He smiles back at her. “Not a replacement, of course, but it’s the thought that counts, right?”

He’s certainly curious about where she’s been all this time, but he knows better than to pry. Especially since it seems to upset her this much. She’ll talk when she’s ready.

Robyn stares at the kazoo for a long moment, brow stitched together as she regards it with suspicion. "But people hate the sound of kazoos!" she seems to protest, before letting her smile widen. "Which makes it perfect!" She takes it, looking down at it with a smile. "I hate that you're so good at making me feel better."

There's no bitterness to that. It might be one of the most honest things she's ever said.

She turns it over in her hand for a moment, before raising it up to her lips and blowing - the sound echoes through the room. "It's awful, I love it."

“I’ll keep a lookout for a vuvuzela too while I’m at it.” Kendall jokes, relieved that she likes it. “Then again that might actually be a good idea, can’t think of many other ways to signal from one side of the US to the other.” because there’s nothing like an incredibly obnoxious, large horn to get peoples’ attention. When she blows on the kazoo, he laughs, clapping. “Absolutely amazing.”

He summons a pair of drumsticks and starts rapping them on the side of the window, not to any specific beat, but more like a drumroll. “PRE-senting, the PREMIER KAZOO PLAYER of the Pelago, whose talents include charming everyone she meets with her siren song, belly dancing with a pickle jar, and being able to dilate her nostrils!” he bows to her.

Roux takes no hesitation in raising the kazoo back to her lips, beginning to "play" a tune she tremembers from some dumb TV show from back before the flood. A wrestling show or something? The memory of the source is hazy, but the melody is one that's impossible to forget, no matter how hard she may want to.

It lasts until she finally cracks up laughing to the point that she can't keep playing. With a wide smile on her face, she laughs and slips the kazoo into her pocket. "I'm nothing without my backing band!" With a flourish, she motions to Kendall, before furrowing her brow. "Wait, belly dancing?"

There's a pause as Kendall thinks that over. "Uh. I dunno. It sounded better in my head." He shrugs and grins over at her, abashed. "Got a little carried away. I was thinking of something silly for someone to be known for, not that you actually did it." Another pause. "Did you? Do you have a secret double life where you fight crime as a vigilante belly dancer? I'd read that comic!"

Right after he says that though, his expression drops. "You know…. When there were any."

"Um. I mean… probably." That there was a comic like that, not that she's been belly dancing. The idea of it brings a blush to her face, looking down at the cracked and broken concrete below her. She fidgets uncomfortably, a hand reaching to scratch her head.

"If you want me to do music, you have to do drawing," she says in a quiet, overcautious tone, still looking down. "Make it a comic." Her blush intensifies "Just not about me, please."

Kendall’s jaw clenches at that, and he doesn’t look up at her, also staring at the concrete like it offended him. “You know I don’t anymore.” the drumsticks disappear from his hands, and he shoves his hands in his pockets, still staring down at the ground. “Let’s just talk about something else.” seems like it’s not a deal he’s really interested in enough to push the both of them. Then, a thought occurs to him.

“Oh shit.” belatedly he remembers he left the bucket of fish outside and ducks back out onto the ledge. There’s a screech, and then he comes back in with a dead seagull as well as the bucket o' fish. “Tried to eat my fish, guess we get to eat him!” he announces with forced cheerfulness, apparently relieved to have a different subject to talk about. “Not chicken, but it’ll do, right?”

Roux's lips thin at Kendall's insistence they change the subject. Turnabout is fair play, and yet it feels unfair to both of them. "How did you…" kill it, ostensibly. But her question never comes to completion as she stares at the bird, shoulders sagging a bit. "Least it's not a kestrel," she murmurs. Are there even birds like that anymore? She has no idea.

Instead she rises up from where she sits and turns, looking off into the distance. The shadow that stretches from her feet seems to twist and shift as if ready to rise up. Thankfully, it does not. "Nah," she says quietly, looking in the direction of the Pelago. Her shadow reaches out just far enough to reach Kendall, as if reaching for him. "I should get back home," is said with a distinct sullenness.

With the moment ruined, Kendall shrugs, looking away. “Well it’s a little trick I picked up.” he lifts his hand up and just like before when he pulled the bucket over, a suspended string appears out of mid air. “Easy enough to make one around a neck, and then just-” he jerks it suddenly through the air, and it’s easy to figure out what that does. “Makes it quick, anyway. Probably painless?” he avoids looking at her face, instead down at her shadow.

“Anyone mess with you, let me know, ok? I’m better at not getting my ass kicked now too.” he moves his foot forward a bit, meeting the shadow. “I could walk you home if you like. Maybe I can even buy you a drink? Or… well take care, ok? And let me know if you plan on disappearing again.”

"Maybe come by tomorrow," is murmured as Roux's shadow twists again, almost like it's looking up at Kendall. She doesn't offer where she lives, but Kendall knows how to find her: Listen out, or ask around. It's always been like that, and that's assuming she even has a permanent place to live.

When the shadow finally recedes and Kendall looks up, Roux is nowhere to be found. He little disappearing trick is familiar - Kendall knows how she likes to cloak herself in shadow and disappear into it when she's ready to leave. It's kind of vexing really.

But the nearby clang betrays her as she makes her way out from the fishing spot.

Kendall sighs when she goes off, and he kicks the side of the building in annoyance at himself, which only results in him getting a stubbed toe. Stupid, stupid. Just draw her a damn picture, already. Equally familiar to Roux would be Kendall’s method of leaving, which is to just vanish from sight from anyone who might be watching, dead bird, fish bucket and all.

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